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New medal to be awarded for service in Thailand

New medal to be awarded for service in Thailand

New Zealand personnel who served in Thailand between 1962 and 1971 will be eligible for a new medal, Minister of Defence Mark Burton announced today.

“As part of our ongoing work to ensure that our veterans’ outstanding service to New Zealand is properly recognised, this Government has agreed in principle to the institution of the New Zealand General Service Medal (non-warlike) with a ‘Thailand’ clasp.”

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, Thailand was threatened by both Communist insurgency in the northeast and invasion along the Laos border. As part of an allied response to these threats, New Zealand deployed military forces to Thailand in the period between 1962 and 1971, including RNZAF transport aircraft, an SAS detachment, and Army engineers.

“This new medal will recognise the exceptional service of the 300 New Zealand personnel deployed to Thailand during this period,” said Mark Burton.

The institution of this medal follows last year’s establishment of the New Zealand Operational Service Medal, as well as medals to recognise a variety of other deployments dating back to 1945.

The new medal is still to be manufactured and should be available for issue by the middle of this year.

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